In following the activities of Sue Vincent and Stuart France across the landscapes of the UK – start with The Initiate which is a great read and will give you an idea of what they are up to – I was also pointed by Sue to the author Paul Broadhurst and just completed his book on the Green Man. Having read that book, I now also get a bit more of what Sue and Stu are onto in the UK and having just come back from a weekend of magic with them and others in Whitby, it got me to thinking…… what about here? Here being Brno in the Czech Republic.
Well, the first thing that struck me is that Brno is symbolized in part by a dragon. The dragon hangs in the old town hall in public view in fact. There are lots of stories about the dragon – which is actually a crocodile including this one from foreigners.cz;
“that a Dragon made Brno his home, and threatened the citizens and all of its livestock. Merchants stopped coming to the city to sell, and women stopped going to the market. The plan to kill the dragon was thought up long before somebody with the courage to actually do it came along or before a master plan was thought up.
Luckily, one day a butcher who was traveling through Brno volunteered. So the courageous butcher created a trap to get rid of the Dragon. The trap was a sac made of fur (ox or sheep), and filled with lime. The dragon became very thirsty after eating this fur and lime, and after drinking so much water at the river his stomach expanded with the lime inside, and it burst! Then, the citizens celebrated by having the dragon preserved and now we can see it hanging from the Old Town Hall – and you might notice, this dragon looks a lot like a crocodile. 🙂”
There are other stories about how Brno ended up with a stuffed crocodile and a dragon story but whatever the truth, the crocodile dates back to the late 1500’s it seems at least! Some of the local sport teams are called the Dragons and the city has made the dragon one of its images…..
And then, I started to discover other dragon myths in the surrounding countryside. Like this one.
Once upon a time, two horrible brooms plagued the region. So terrible that the rumor of it has been preserved up to our times.
A terrible dragon settled in the county and attacked and frightened the whole village. There was no one to defend himself, bravely oppose the monster. So the dragon raged furiously at will. Destroyed, gagged, killed. Woe to a man or an animal, woe to a farm or a village when suddenly the ominous dragon’s wings murmured over them.
No one in the neighborhood knew where this four-legged monster had its lair. Indeed, no one dared search for it. According to the direction of the dragon’s arrival and departure, it was judged that the monster was somewhere in a vast rock maze in the grooves of the Punkva Valley. These conjectures were not far from the truth. The dragon chose the inaccessible bottom of the great Macocha Abyss as his home. There he set up his lair in a spacious and dry cave. While hunting and spoiling during the day, he flew to Macosh for a night’s rest, to whose dizzying deep bottom he could safely endure thanks to his mighty wings. He could rest in the abyss in complete peace, and the Macos’ lakes provided him with good, cool water.
The second and no less terrible scourge of the region was a large bunch of bandits. The troop, led by the skillful and ruthless lap of the Obeslik, became a terror and horror of human lives and property within a short time.
He had his scouts everywhere, so he couldn’t miss anything in the wide region. The burghers, the villagers, and especially the rich merchants, kept complaining to the Margrave’s authorities. They begged for help and asked for a criminal expedition against a bandit. But the gargoyle skillfully escaped justice for a long time and hurt hilariously.
When the near surroundings of Brno were no longer safe in front of Obesik and his pawns, the Margrave himself went against the bandits with a large section of the arms people. And then the last hour of the gang struck! The robber company was first carefully monitored, her stay in the woods tracked down, and finally gripped by such a tight circle of pursuers that there was no more escape from him.
The puddle knew it was all over now and gave up. The captured robbers were hung on the spot, Obesik was drafted in handcuffs to Brno castle. There he was brought to justice and tried for his countless crimes.
Over the malevolent robber Obeslik, a pest of land and property, was sentenced to a far more cruel and terrible judgment than the loss of the gate. “You shall be set aside, the chief of the band of robbers, the bandit, and the great masters; Only a loaf of black bread will be given to you on a journey that will not return for you. ”
On the third day after the sentence, the paw was chained, loaded on a chariot, and taken to Macosh for justice to be done. When the armed parade with the convict arrived in Vilémovice, in the vicinity of which the Macocha Abyss is spread, the armor-bearers took the robber out of the wagon and tied him along the forest paths to the abyss. The horror and horror conceived of the Fiddler that he was trembling all over his body when, after reading the judgment, he was tied with a rope around his chest, brought to the very edge of the depression and slowly lowered into the abyss.
How awfully horrible the view was to the bottom of the great abyss! The hard-hearted bandit, who was not afraid to spend a few human lives at times, almost fainted as he glanced over the steep walls of the abyss. Macocha opened her hell-throat as if to devour the unfortunate. He hung on the rope between the sky and the earth for a long time before his feet touched the solid ground at the bottom. A loaf of black bread was lowered behind the robber. When he milked him, he would starve!
The ropes were pulled up and all the noise stopped. The loner was lonely in the gates of the gruesome underground empire. There was a dead silence, only the raging waters of Punkva that appear at the bottom of Macocha, then disappearing into the mysterious hatches of countless holes, and the glory disturbing the calmness of this wilderness that perhaps no human foot has yet entered. The robber glanced around the wild abyss, where two lakes were gleaming in the gloom of the dying day, and he knew he couldn’t help him and he would starve in a few days.
The ghost of night fell slowly into the landscape as suddenly high above Macocha’s esophagus something tremendous flew over. Lapka lifted his head and stood. A huge monster was slowly coming down to the bottom of the abyss. The horrified Obeskin had barely enough time to hide in a small cave, from where he watched with a stunned breath the circling of a terrible dragon who sat in the bottom of the abyss in a short while. The dragon monster went to the pond first and joined it well. Then she slowly crawled down the loam to the large cave where she had her lair. It wasn’t long before Macocha’s hoarse echoed. The dragon fell asleep.
The bandit relaxed unwittingly. The monster did not seem to notice him. So he was saved so far. The cave provided him with a good and dry shelter, and thus, overwhelmed by fatigue and everything he had lived through this day, he was not far from sleep either.
As the morning dawned a little in the abyss, the dragon woke up. But Obesik was already awake and in good hiding, hiding behind a large boulder, was watching the dragon’s actions closely. The monster stretched lazily for a moment, spreading its hideous, bat wings as if it were about to take off. Then she rocked down to the small straight at the lakes, waved her wings several times, and circled the Macocha space in large arches until she flipped over the edge and disappeared in an unfamiliar direction.
The precipice was calm now, so the robber could think and think about everything. He was aware that getting out of the bottom of Macocha without help from others was impossible. If only he had the dragon’s wings! And that just brought him to a saving idea. What if he sat on the dragon’s back? Only then could he get out of the abyss and save himself from death. Yes, only the dragon can help!
He couldn’t wait for the evening, so he waited impatiently for the monster. It was very dark when he heard the familiar whisper of wings. The dragon was returning. The monster flew back to the pond to quench its thirst. Then she crawled into her rocky lair, from which she would soon snore again. The puddle had a plan, but he almost lost all the courage at the sight of the monster. In the end, however, he carefully climbed the scales of the wings to her back and gripped tightly between the wings.
Sleeping dragon, lucky for Obešlíka noticed nothing. Just in the morning with several powerful booms of massive wings, he lifted the bottom of the abyss up and with it the robber Obešlík, desperately holding the scales between his wings. Soon the edge of the abyss flew over, and the dragon headed for noon. Now the waiter waited for the right moment. When the dragon descended close to the ground, he slid off his back and fell, as a miracle without injury, into the tall, forest grass. He was saved. He had just lost the hair of certain death by hunger at the bottom of the great abyss. At the same time, however, he did not want to figure out what would have happened to him if the dragon had observed him.
The gargoyle was saved and also at large. But he still had to earn and secure this dearly acquired freedom. He watched well in which direction the dragon was leaving Macocha, where it was heading. It was on this basis that he based his plan. If he had been able to kill the dragon, he would certainly have been instrumental in not only the security of the entire region, which had been so freed from the gruesome scourge, but had also washed away its earlier offenses, which even when he was on the verge regretted.
He did not miss long and went to Brno. He reported to the margrave himself and told him extensively about what had happened to him and around him since he’d been dropped into the Macocha Abyss. But not only that! He volunteered to try to kill the dragon monster if he was forgiven for the acts he had committed during his robbery life. The surprised Margrave finally agreed. However, the puddle asked for three things: a live calf, a spear, and quicklime.
The brave bandit got what he demanded and left Brno Castle to prepare for a decisive match with the dragon near the Macocha Abyss. First, he sharpened his spear. Then he killed the calf, ejected his viscera, and filled his belly with quicklime. Then he sewed the skin again. When he was ready, he carefully followed the dragon’s flight from Macocha, searching for a place where the monster was resting, searching for a stream or a forest spring to drink in a wide circle around the abyss. And happiness pleased him. A faint hour from Macocha he found a well at which he found numerous dragon claw prints. I decided to take a bold attack at this point. First, he brought the calf killed and laid it near the well. Then he chose a safe place in a nearby grove, where he could see the well and where he was well hidden from the dragon. And he waited patiently.
Shortly after noon he heard the miserable rustle of wings, and the horrible beast was already plunging into the meadow by the well. But she barely stood on solid ground, showing some unease. She looked around suspiciously and turned her head to where the dead calf lay. Immediately, she threw herself eagerly at the sudden prey, opened and closed her terrible jaws several times, and the fat bite disappeared into the voracious mouth. And then the dragon only did what the courageous Obes kid expected. The thirsty thirst drove the dragon to the well to drink a fat lunch. The dragon drank a little while this time when he started to scream. The water began to work in his stomach, filled with quicklime. The monster swept from side to side, rolling in terrible pain. Her belly swelled to rupture.
The obesee, watching closely, decided that his moment had come. He stepped out of hiding with his spear in his hand and headed straight for the dragon to hit him with the last blow. A spear whistled through the air, and a well-guided wound cursed the dragon’s belly. He just grunted and suddenly it was over.
Due to the courage and bravery of the former robber, the vast region was deprived of tribulation. By doing so, Obesik had atone for the nasty acts he had once committed. He was now not only forgiven and free, but also richly rewarded for his heroic deed.
Now this dragon lived in the Macocha abyss in the area known as the Moravian Karst – an area of limestone and, of course, caves….. and then suddenly, I found tale after tale of dragons in the area around Brno……
Dragons, it seems, are often associated with areas of Earth energy and ley lines. It is thought that perhaps the bad dragons with noxious breath, might be references to areas where the earth energy is negative or has somehow gone toxic if for example, the energy has been cut off. It would then need a knight in shining armor – perhaps a templar – to use a lance of light or perhaps the mirror of his armor to rectify the situation and put the dragon to rights – restore the earth energy to its rightful place.
A week ago, I drove through a place close to Brno called Dolni Kounice. I had never been there before. My 12-year old daughter was with me and she remarked as we entered the town that she felt nervous and didn’t want to stay. I felt it too – it was the wonderous pulsation of the Earth energies and I vowed to go back to explore further. A quick google showed me a couple of things. Firstly, the village/town has an annual dragon flying event for kids (kites) and other ‘dragon’ events at the castle but more importantly, it has the ruins of a convent called the Rosa Coeli as well as a myriad of chapels and monuments that seem to hold promise… The convent has many stories attached to it which I will post when I visit it properly but it was established in 1181 and finally abandoned after a fire in 1703 – it also has amazing energies associated with it. On the hill above the town is the chapel of St. Anthony with its annual wine pilgrimage on May 5th. I suspect a chapel in such a prominent position has much earlier history and the whole town needs to be explored.
So, in 2020, I will be hunting dragons in Moravia……. it seems there are plenty to hunt.